December 29, 2020

LEGISLATIVE SCENE 2021: IEC National Priorities Jason Todd – IEC National Vice President of Government Affairs

Drastic Changes to Labor Law Likely Under a Biden Administration

As President Trump’s legal challenges alleging voter fraud and irregularities continue, he faces an uphill battle to ultimately shift the outcome in his favor. With that said, it’s worth providing insight into what a Biden administration’s labor policy agenda could look like should he be certified as the winner. The former vice president has made it no secret that he supports many of the policies proposed by organized labor over the past two decades. Assuming the Senate maintains its Republican majority, much of what a Biden administration will want to accomplish will have to be done through the regulatory process. Here is a list of the policy changes it will likely pursue.

  • Reinstate the Obama-era “ambush elections” rule that shortens the time frame for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a representation election.
  • Reinstate the Obama-era policy permitting the creation of micro-unions.
  • Reestablish the Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) joint-employer standard under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
  • Amend the Trump-era decisions on independent contractor status.
  • Reinstate the Obama-era persuader rule, which requires employers to disclose expenditures on labor relations matters, drastically limiting the ability of small businesses to obtain legal counsel on labor issues.
  • Limit use of “captive audience” meetings where employers give their side to employees on union representation.
  • Require all federal contractors to sign agreements pledging “neutrality” in union organizing drives.
  • Prioritize project labor agreements in federal procurement procedures.
  • Restore elements of the Obama-era “blacklisting” rules.

In addition, with the House of Representatives remaining in the Democrats’ hands, it’s possible that it will revisit the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which it passed in the 116th Congress and includes many of the above provisions, as well as the repeal of state Right-to-Work protections. A comprehensive outline of a Biden administration’s labor policy priorities has been provided by the Coalition for a Democratic Workforce. IEC will aggressively work to educate the new administration and Congress on the negative impact these policies would have on the merit shop electrical contracting industry.